America's Cup Arrives at Last

Racing begins on Wednesday, practice began Tuesday.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Preparations for the real America's Cup World Series racing later this week begin today on San Francisco Bay. (Published Tuesday, Aug 21, 2012)

    Let the sailing begin.

    The America's Cup racing village opened on Tuesday, ahead of the first races on Wednesday, according to the San Francisco Appeal online newspaper.

    45-foot catamarans will race around San Francisco Bay from Wednesday until Sunday, the newspaper reported. The best views are from Marina Green, where bleachers will be set up, the newspaper reported.

    The races next year will include the 72-foot boats, according to reorts.

    Bleacher seats are sold out for the Friday through Sunday races, but tickets for Wednesday and Thursday may still be available at www.americascup.com.

    Racing begins at 2:05 p.m. every day except for Sunday, when racing begins at 11:45 a.m.

    San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee welcomed the sailors at a news conference Tuesday. He said residents are "going to see a level of  excitement they've never seen."

    Lee said he expects tens of thousands of people to come out for the races, which are projected to bring about $1 billion in economic benefits to the Bay Area.

    Iain Murray, CEO of the America's Cup Race Management, said the  Bay's waters should prove "very exhilarating and testing" and that "we're in  for a spectacular next five days."

    John Kostecki, a tactician for Oracle Team USA, which won the last  America's Cup in 2010 and chose San Francisco as the location for next year's  finals, said he expects a lot of action this week along the race course,  which spans about 2 miles.
    "It's tough to navigate," Kostecki said of the route. "It's a  tight race course and it will be very crowded."

    He said spectators can expect to see collisions and capsized  boats, noting that some of the boats have already capsized in practice runs  in recent days when there was a lot more room to maneuver.

    Kostecki grew up in San Rafael and has years of experience sailing  in the Bay, but said he didn't think that would prove to be much of an  advantage.

    "All of these other teams have great sailors," he said. "They'll  figure it out."

    He said, "This event is long overdue here in San Francisco,"  calling it "a dream come true" to hold the races where he grew up.

    Bay City News contributed to this report.